North Fork Apothecary owner Stephanie Sack and celebrity photographer Deborah Feingold capture the region’s distinct vibe.
North Fork Apothecary in Cutchogue could serve as a metaphor for the North Fork itself. The fashion-slash-lifestyle boutique, situated in a 200-year-old refurbished building, is one part vintage, one part contemporary; one part rustic, one part urbane; one part freshly grown, one part imaginatively reworked. And there are hidden gems scattered all around, waiting to be discovered.
“The North Fork isn’t just beautiful farms and charming communities, there’s also a wealth of incredibly sophisticated creativity and interesting talent — it’s just very low key, and so wonderful to uncover,” said owner Stephanie Sack. She aims to recreate that feeling of discovery and wonder in her store, which is as much a meeting of the creative minds as it is a place to shop.
Like the North Fork’s “slow food” movement where consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from, Sack believes in “slow fashion.” She only buys brands if she can meet the designer, opting for labels that honor craftsmanship, are ethically and sustainability sourced, and give back to people and the planet when possible. That includes everything from Hudson, N.Y.-based clean beauty line Face Stockholm, to Ohio-based men’s brand Relwen that honors American heritage, to British apparel brand Banjanan, featuring traditional Indian textile techniques like hand-blocked prints.
And from vintage rock star photography to candy that evokes the building’s historic general store past, Sack is all about nostalgia, right down to her line of candles with scents drawn from her childhood coming to the North Fork. “I think of the shop as a modern general store or my own little cabinet of curiosities,” she said. “It’s like a treasure hunt.”
Sack made a conscious decision to “go in the direction of ‘buy less, buy better,’ ” which means curating brands and materials with longevity, mixing in existing vintage pieces when possible. “I don’t carry fast fashion or brands you’ll find elsewhere on the North Fork, and I seek out pieces that can be mixed and matched and worn from season to season,” Sack said, noting how a fashion wrap can become a chair throw and then ultimately a baby blanket. “Things should fit into every facet of your life.”
The North Fork vibe “isn’t showy or fancy” when it comes to trends, she says, adding “we have a community of creative people who want to highlight their personal style — from what they wear to how they decorate their home.” She is always on hand to help pull a vintage-meets-modern fashion look together or recommend a great piece of art for the wall, and she’s planning community-building events in the newly refurbished upstairs space.
“It’s decorated like a vintage British Social Club, and I envision using the space like an old salon where creative people get together to share ideas and learn … and that’s when beautiful things happen,” she said. “My goal is to honor the building’s history of being a community gathering spot for years to come.”
A ’40s-inspired floral perfection with Old-World detailing makes this dress by The Great destined to twirl you under the stars all autumn long. Slip on a vintage fringed jacket to ward off the evening chill as the sun sinks into Long Island Sound.
Ruffled floral maxi dress by The Great $525, vintage suede western jacket $425, vintage cowboy boots from All Hours $395. (Photography by Deborah Feingold)
This dress is an entirely different kind of North Fork cool. It conjures a time rich with romance and seafaring history. Reminiscent of a treasured Victorian keepsake yet made modern in this juicy merlot red.
Crocheted red dress by The Great $525, Barbour Wellington Boots $95, vintage hat $125. (Photography by Deborah Feingold)
This dress is deeply pigmented in fall’s rich palette. We love this look dressed up or down with workwear boots (bound to be an autumn staple, perfect for muddy pumpkin fields). Oh, and that swoon-worthy hand-woven blanket wrap grounds this look just like a North Fork Sunday afternoon at a vineyard.
Multicolored dress by Velvet $275, handmade woven blanket wrap $375 by Shed Textile, Barbour Commando Boots $235. (Photography by Deborah Feingold)
Seldom does one dress tick so many boxes on our fashion wish list. Barbour’s legacy tartan gets a rock star makeover with artfully placed details and flirty sleeves and hem. Pair it with combat boots and OG tube socks for a playfully prim personalized look. Not since Sid Vicious has tartan looked so cool.
Plaid Barbour dress $175, Barbour Commando Boots $235, Boyfriend socks $17.50. (Photography by Deborah Feingold)
This limited-edition waxed jacket brings modern style to an iconic outerwear piece with its oversized corduroy collar and chunky zip detailing to the pockets.
Limited-edition waxed jacket by Barbour $660, Citizens of Humanity jeans $228. (Photography by Deborah Feingold)
Through her lens: Deborah Feingold’s low-key demeanor belies her credentials as one of the world’s legendary photographers
Veteran photographer Deborah Feingold, who splits her time between Southold and New York’s East Village, has been photographing award-winning musicians, actors, presidents, authors and every other type of prominent personalities for decades. From Barack Obama’s book cover portrait to photos of Keith Richards, Bono, Madonna and other greats in her coffee table book “Music,” Feingold has the unique ability to compress the entire essence of a personality into one image. In fact, Feingold’s photograph of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, which graced a Time Magazine cover feature, was recently selected for a USPS Forever Stamp.
Feingold and North Fork Apothecary’s Stephanie Sack became fast friends after meeting at a party in Southold. “I trust Deborah’s opinion implicitly,” Sack said. “Deborah’s charming blend of humor, humility and raw instinctual talent has helped me hone my creative powers, and she says that I invigorate and drive hers.” Together, they are working on book titled “Among Us.”
“Since the day I met Deborah, I can’t imagine a world where she isn’t my confidant, oracle and inspiration,” Sack said about their friendship. “She’s a real superhero and rock star, who happens to take photos of superheroes and rock stars.”